Cell Lighting (Standard & Safer)

Cells represent one of the toughest environments for lighting fixtures as prisoners are unsupervised for the majority of the time. In the UK there are two types of cells, “standard” and “safer”. Both follow stringent specifications set out by the MoJ.

Please move your cursor through the illustration and click on the blue squares for more information about recommended products for Cells.

Recommended products for cells



Monitor II robust linear luminaire

Approved luminaire for “standard” cells. Zinc coated steel finished in chemical and abrasion resistant textured white polyester powder coat.

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DL86 SC Anti-Ligature luminaire

Anti-ligature, vandal resistant downlight for use in ‘safer cell’ environments. A translucent GRP diffuser maintains product strength and is able to withstand an impact of 250 joules of energy (IK20).

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Abrams AL anti-ligature luminaire

“Safer cell” certified ceiling mounted vandal resistant fitting. UK Justice Department HMPPS approved fitting with patented diffuser design.

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Extremely robust HMPPScompliant “safe cell” anti-ligature lighting and trunking system including options for CCTV, ventilation, smoke detectors and speakers.

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Best Practice Advice

Standard & Safer Cells

In both cell types, luminaires must be physically robust and tamper resistant. Whereas “safer cells” require anti-ligature light fittings to prevent self-harming.

To resist extended periods of naked flame attack, specially designed diffusers stop holes being created which could be used to attach ligatures or store contraband.

Vandal Resistance

The IK scale, goes up to IK11, certifying that a luminaire can resist an impact of up to 50 joules of energy. In custodial environments this level of impact resistance is simply not adequate.

Our drop-test rig creates impacts up to 250 joules of energy. This rigorous testing process ensures our custodial luminaires are robustly constructed and fit for purpose in line with the MoJ’s standards.

Logistics & Maintenance

The logistics of moving prisoners from block to block to carry out maintenance is a major consideration in cell applications, especially in large prisons.

Luminaires that incorporate removable gear trays not only save energy but ensure quick and easy upgrades, resulting in less disruption to prisoners and staff. For more information CLICK HERE.

Cell Lighting

Technical Support

The MoJ have a stringent set of standards for prison cell design and certification Standard cells are governed by STD/E/SPEC/021 and “Safer cells” by STD/E/SPEC/022. Both contain the requirement for lighting above the IK ratings detailed in EN 60068-2-75. Our luminaires are rated up to IK20, which is an impact equivalent to 250 joules of energy.

In “safer cell” applications, MoJ standards state that “the luminaires must be designed so as to reduce the potential for a prisoner to attach a ligature in order to attempt suicide”. We achieve this by minimising the aperture between the luminaire’s diffuser and body, using tamper proof screws and designing the body to be suitable for the application of anti-pick mastic during installation. A burns test is also required for “safer cell” accreditation. A naked flame, and abrasion from a 10mm coach bolt, is applied for up to 8 minutes to ensure the diffuser can’t be punctured.

For further lighting advice speak to our technical sales team on 020 8254 2022 or e-mail technicalsales@designplan.co.uk.

Lighting Controls

An important factor for cell lighting is the lighting control strategy. Lighting designers and consultants will need to meet specific standards and operational requirements whilst reducing energy use where practical. At Designplan we can provide control solutions for traditional switched applications and standalone luminaire operation. As well as full networked systems utilising the DALI protocol.

PDF Lighting Guide

Our 24 page lighting guide identifies typical custodial applications, focusing on the principles of good lighting. We examine the benefits of robust construction, standards compliance and specific design requirements including anti-ligature luminaires for “safer” cell applications. To download your copy click on the button below.

Why Choose Designplan?

Cost of ownership

  • Robust and durable luminaires are essential.
  • Reduced maintenance costs and energy consumption.
  • Competitive initial purchase costs.


  • Proven approved standard cell and “safer cell” luminaires.
  • “Fit for purpose” application experience.
  • Specifically designed test rig and MoJ spec prison cell in our UK factory.
  • Installed lighting CE certified again, following LED retrofit upgrade.


  • Metal bodies and specially designed diffusers provide vandal/burn resistance.
  • Fully sealed luminaires with tamper proof fixings.
  • Removable gear trays enable quick and easy maintenance.


  • Made in Britain.
  • Significant sector experience.
  • Site surveys to suggest ways installed lighting can be upgraded to LED.
  • Project management team.

Custodial Projects

Other Applications